I've done what I would term a 'luxury' safari once before in South Africa, but Shumbala provided not only incredible, intimate accommodation, but also fabulous game viewing opportunities, come rain or shine! The lodge itself is right in the middle of the Thornybush reserve, and to be welcomed by the exceedingly friendly stuff and a cup of iced tea was just what we needed after the bumpy ride in (try to get a 4x4 if you're driving yourself there!). Our room was beautiful, and the three visits a day from housekeeping meant that despite our best efforts, it stayed that way!
The game drives were incredible. We were lucky in seeing a leopard just enjoying itself at the side of the road and not minding us being so close, but our ranger really went the extra mile to ensure we saw absolutely everything we could, and safely. When a rhino was hiding away on our last drive, we were led on foot (at a safe distance, I might add!) to take a look - really an incredible experience. I was also pretty smug that while some lodges were sending out packed 9-seater vehicles, there were only 4 of us at Shumbalala at the time, and I believe that with a maximum of 8 for safari, they will always provide a personal experience with great views when on the drives.
The food was great throughout the trip, with the chef and her team taking into account any and all food whims and making sure we never went hungry.
Overall, this place was awesome. We saw everything we could have hoped for, slept in beautiful surroundings, and drank and ate until we burst, with very friendly staff around to help us at all times.
Thank you Shumbalala!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It’s a vast, wild place where the lions roam at Shumbalala Game Lodge, deep in the Thornybush GameReserve, one of the country’s great tracts of untamed game-viewing.Set as it is in a dry, singeing savanna of Mopane, Acacias and Umbrella thorns, quartered by easterly-flowing rivers densely shrouded in giant figs, fever trees and phoenix palms, the land is an ancient tapestry of natural wonder.Over-head the Loeries call their sharp warning while horn-bills swoop in an ungainly ballet between trees whilst vultures elevate on thermals portending an electric storm.As you push on through the bush it is the serendipity of nature that amazes most as your vehicle skirts art deco zebra, dozy giraffe, bright eyed bush babies, wildebeest (made, it is said, by the committee of left-over parts) and the rest Africa has to offer.It is even more of an adventure when you stumble upon a leopard lazing in the V of a Jackalberry tree or; a hyena giving you a lazy yellow eye in the gathering dusk; a majestic bull elephant crashing its way through the riverine thicket in search of sweet reeds or; a surprise sunrise encounter with a lion pride on the prowl.This is the world of Shumbalala. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shumbalala Game Hotel Thornybush Private Game Reserve
- Shumbalala Game Lodge South Africa/Thornybush Private Game Reserve